Dying mom taken to beach in hospital bed to watch the sunset one last time
A dying mother with days left to live was taken to the beach in her hospital bed and gown so that she could watch the sun set for the last time.
Carmen Leon de la Barra passed away after a battle with bowel cancer last week, but before she died, a cancer charity were able to get the go-ahead to take her to a beach in Sydney, Australia with her husband Antonio, so that she could watch the sunset with her family before she passed away.
Carmen and Antonio Leon de la Barra are originally from Chile, but moved to Australia in 1989, opened an accountancy firm and spend the next 30 years building a family and life. In 1995, the couple started to take walks down a beach in Brighton-Le-Sands, west Sydney, filling a Thermos full of tea as they waited for rush hour traffic to die down.
But once Carmen was diagnosed with bowel cancer, she was unable to work or take walks down the beach, spending most of her time in palliative care. "It was at least two or three months since Mum had seen the water," explained Tatiana Salloum, Carmen's daughter, to a local news outlet.
"Dad couldn't take her because of the distance and because of how sick she was," Salloum added, but decided to get in contact with Dreams2Live4, a charity organisation that "makes dreams come true for patients who are living with metastatic cancer", in the hope they could help her mother live out that timeless memory for a final time.
By the next afternoon, which was last Wednesday, plans were already in motion to get Carmen out to the beach, as Salloum revealed the lengths the organisation went to in order to make Carmen's final wish happen.
"When I told them Mum only had a few hours or days to live it became their mission to make it happen. Myself, my father, my two brothers, partners and seven of the nine grandchildren all headed to the beach from Mt Druitt."
The family followed an ambulance carrying Carmen to the Brighton-Le-Sands beach. "Mum had been sleeping a lot, but when we got to the beach she knew where she was and managed to open her eyes," Salloum revealed.
Together, the family were able to enjoy the activity they'd loved for the last two decades. There was even a flask full of tea, just like old times, and the family say that Carmen was delighted to see the beautiful sunset before her. Sadly, it was to be the last time that Carmen Leon de la Barra was to see the beach.
Just two days later, the wife and mother passed away at around 9:30 on Friday evening, while Hawkesbury Hospital paramedic Jeff Gadd said that the experience was one of his most pleasant while working at the hospital. "It's … one of the first times in 15 years I've done something like this. It was such a simple job but very rewarding," Mr Gadd explained.